SING FOR YOUR SUPPER
John walked the dusty road to nowhere. His clothes, as dusty as the road he walked, were sweat stained, his shoes worn from weeks of walking. He had nowhere in particular to go, but he headed south to get away from the cold winters of Ohio. Like so many others, John had lost everything that eventful day which would forever be remembered as Black Tuesday, the day the market crashed.
He had been the president of a large bank in Central Ohio. John had held on as long as possible, but there came the day when the doors to his bank closed. He lost his position, home, and future wife. John had lost everything but his faith. It sustained him through this wilderness time in his life.
As he walked, he prayed, “Lord, you know my need. I have come to the place where I must rely on others for my daily bread. I believe your Word that tells us that as we give it will be given to us, but I have nothing to give?”
Immediately he felt the Lord’s response, “My gift to you is your voice. Sing for My glory.”
John chuckled at the thought, “You want me to sing for my supper.” And so he did. John would approach a house by the back door and begin to sing hymns. Soon someone would come out and hand him a plate of food. Sometimes it was a hot meal, and other times a cold sandwich. It didn’t matter, he was grateful, and God received all the glory.
The situation was wearing on him. He began to grow weary of sleeping wherever he could, sometimes on the cold, hard ground, and other times he would be blessed with the covering of a barn that at least kept the wind out. Then came the day when the effects of it all took its toll.
It was late in October when John awoke one morning coughing violently. He was burning up with fever. The weather had turned cold, and snow was in the air. He trudged along looking to find shelter when, high on a hill, he spotted a large home. As he made his way up the hill, his strength gave out and he crumpled to the ground. Too weak to get up, he continued to lay there until he heard a car coming up the road. Feebly, he lifted his arm to call attention to himself.
In the car was Mr. Armstrong, the owner of the estate. “Stop the car,” he said to his driver. “What is that in the road?”
“Sir, I think it’s a man, probably a bum looking for a handout,” said the driver.
“Well, don’t just sit there, get him in the car. It appears he needs more help than just a meal. Take him to the kitchen and see that he is fed; then put him to bed in the servant’s quarters.
John was well taken care of, and when he had recovered, Mr. Armstrong hired him to help the gardener.
One day in spring, Mr. Armstrong was strolling through the garden when he heard John singing. Taken by his beautiful voice, he approached John. “John, your voice is amazing. I am having a party this weekend and I want you to sing for us.”
The night of the party John sang a variety of songs, popular tunes of the day intermingled with the old hymns of the church. Everyone was taken by John’s magnificent voice. After he had sung, he was approached by Mr. Armstrong. “John, I want you to meet Mr. Devine. He owns Devine’s Supper Club in New York City. He wants you to come to work for him.”
“John, there is a quality in your voice that is different from anything I have ever heard,” said Mr. Devine. “I have been looking for someone to sing to the supper crowd at my club. The pay is good and you will be provided with your meals.”
John readily accepted. After a time was set to discuss the particulars, John bade the men goodnight. As he made his way to his room, John thanked God for his bountiful blessings, then chuckled as he thought to himself, “Well Lord, it looks like I will be singing for my supper again. I don’t know what my future holds, but I will trust You with it, and You will receive all the glory.”
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